Health

Jonathan Bailey/National Human Genome Research Institute

For someone with depression, finding an antidepressant that works is a trial and error process that often takes weeks or months.

As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Leigh DeNoon reports, new research and genetic tests are beginning to help doctors personalize the search for the right medication.

Jan Northam is a retired nurse. While working in the emergency room, not long after Prozac came on the market in the late 1980s, she discovered the medication tremendously helped her depression.

Regent Language Training / https://www.flickr.com/photos/regentlanguagetraining/

Since 2007, 19 states have adopted laws that mandate suicide awareness and prevention training for school educators. But Indiana health and education officials disagree on whether teachers should be the first line of defense.

Indiana requires new teachers to receive suicide prevention training, but a new bill would expand that requirement to all school employees who have ongoing contact with students.

Marion County Commission on Youth lobbyist Mindi Goodpaster says because school is the center of teens’ lives, it makes sense for prevention efforts to start there.

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Lindsay Fox/Flickr

Indiana has one of the nation’s highest smoking rates, but a bill working its way through the legislature aims to change that, in part by raising the cigarette tax by $1.50. The bill cleared the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday.

Nancy Cripe, the coordinator for Tobacco Free Allen County, spent the day before the committee vote at the statehouse to convince lawmakers to vote for the bill, as part of Raise It For Health’s advocacy day. It was easy work.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has been supportive of raising the tobacco tax,” she says. “So I’m excited about that.”

Raymond Gilford / https://www.flickr.com/photos/shuttercat7/

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, along with two other European pharmaceutical companies, is facing a price-fixing lawsuit regarding its rapidly escalating insulin prices. Lilly makes a form of insulin called Humalog, whose list price has doubled since 2011, the lawsuit claims.

In a complaint filed in federal court Monday, the plaintiffs argue the price increase isn’t due to increased production costs but rather the exploitation of a complex system of pricing deals between insurers, manufacturers and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs.

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Jake Harper / Side Effects

If she’s confirmed, Indiana policy consultant Seema Verma will start work as Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She’ll bring her experience designing Indiana’s unique Medicaid expansion to the national policy conversation.

Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky / https://www.plannedparenthood.org

As a debate heats up in Washington over the fate of Planned Parenthood, the President of the group’s Indiana and Kentucky affiliate has announced she’s stepping down.

Joe Flintham
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeflintham/

A governor-approved bill that would give Indiana counties and municipalities the ability to set up their own syringe exchanges passed its first hurtle, clearing the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday afternoon.

Currently, local and regional governments need the state health commissioner to declare a public health emergency before counties can establish their syringe exchange programs. The new bill still does not allow the state to fund the programs, and communities would still have the option to establish exchanges through the state approval method.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

A bill designed to significantly reduce the restrictions on manufacturers who make e-liquids for vaping devices in Indiana had its first hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday. The bill is a response to highly-controversial regulations that went into effect last year.

Valentina Powers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/valentinap/253659858

Numbers from Tippecanoe County’s Local Child Fatality Review Team show a steep drop-off in sudden, unexplained or unexpected deaths of children under 18 from 2015 to 2016. Total deaths fell from 13 to just five and none of the 2016 deaths has been attributed to parents sleeping in the same bed with their young children.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

A federal law prohibits former criminals convicted of, for example, trafficking controlled substances, from receiving food stamp benefits. States can choose to do away with the federal ban with a positive legislative vote.

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